Imatges de pÓgina

than had ever encircled the brow of hero or statesman, patriot or sage."

Such was the career of Washington. Brilliant as were his achievements in the field, his never-dying fame rests on a foundation firmer, deeper, more abiding than that of a mere military conqueror. It is, indeed, something that he sustained the weight of an almost desperate war-that he led on the armies of his country to final victory-that, by his valor and discretion, assisted and sustained by that bright galaxy of statesmen upon whose memory we so much delight to dwell, he secured the independence of these United States. But how do these achievements, great as they are, sink into insignificance before his lofty virtues; his exact justice; his unwavering firmness; his deep devotion to the cause of human rights; his sublime dependence on Him who "stretched the north over the empty space, and hung the world upon nothing."

In another part of our article we have called attention to the astonishing genius of Napoleon. He rushes before the imagination like a meteor blazing through the night. He spurns opposition— he laughs at difficulties-he grasps, as it were, the energies of the world, and moves them to his purposes. Armies rise at his bidding -kings tremble before him-his arm is stretched out in power over half the world. At one time we behold him rushing before his wavering columns through a shower of Austrian grape, and, by one masterly display of heroism, deciding the fate of a great battle-at another, entering France a solitary prisoner from Elba, and without armies, or generals, or exchequers, "overwhelming a dynasty by the power of his name." But, alas! how our admiration falters when we reflect that these great qualities were prostituted to the purposes of a mean and selfish ambition! To build himself a name-to found an empire-to aggrandize a family, he subverted the liberty of nations and deluged the world in blood.

It was not thus with Washington. The transcendent lustre of his career is tarnished by no spot that can dim its brightness. If he was great in battle, he was still greater in the cabinet, and greatest of all in the quiet retirement of private life. No suspicions rest on his memory-no cruelty marked his career-no success seduced him from the path of duty. His truly great mind arose above all selfish considerations. He drew his sword in defense of human rights, and, when the object was achieved, returned it to its scabbard. He accepted power to establish the liberties of his country, and when the constitution was settled on a firm basis, retired "with the veneration of all parties-of all nations-of all mankind." Not coveting power, but holding it only in trust, when,

with an army at his back, and strong in the affections of the people, he was solicited to found a kingdom and take the crown, he spurned with contempt the glittering bauble, and, with characteristic modesty, buried the offensive secret in his own bosom.

Just, firm, noble-sheathed in an armor of principle, which was alike proof against the seductions of interest and the threats of power, he stood forth in the majesty of his own virtue like a rock in the midst of the ocean; and when the storm raged and the lightnings of heaven flashed in anger about his head, he caught them upon his uplifted sword and conducted them harmless to the earth. His patriotism was no transient feeling-now bursting forth like the flame of a volcano, and now sinking back into night; but steady as the light of the star that twinkles through the firmament, he maintained to his latest breath his firm positionguiding the steps of that nation which his own sword had made free-holding the balance even between contending parties-promoting peace-establishing justice-maintaining law-and, at his death, bequeathing to his heirs the sword which he had worn, with the solemn charge, 'never to take it from the scabbard but in self-defense, or in defense of their country, or their country's freedom."

Such was this great man, who, by the unanimous consent of mankind, has been styled the FATHER OF HIS COUNTRY. In vain shall we look back through the vista of departed ages for one whose career has left in its track so much glory and so much happiness. We love his memory, not because he dazzled us by the coruscations of his genius, but because he was the friend of manbecause he founded a nation of freemen-because nations yet unborn will rise up to call him blessed.

ART. IV.-The Life of the Rev. John Emory, D. D., one of the Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church. By his Eldest Son. With an Appendix. 8vo. New-York: G. Lane. 1841.

THOUGH it may be true that "every life has enough in it to be worth preserving from oblivion," it is very certain that the world looks for something in a biography more than the common course of human life. A man's life must have been marked in some way to entitle it to be written after his death, and printed in a book. Accordingly, when we hear of a new Life, we ask, naturally enough, what the man was, thought, or did, that we should be called upon to interest ourselves in the history of his parents, his growth, and his decay. Who, then, was John Emory? What did he accomplish that his life should be added to the countless biographies that have been written? It shall be our purpose in this article to answer these questions; not wholly indeed, for that would require us to write the life, not a review thereof; but sufficiently, we trust, to show that the book ought to have been written, and that it ought to be read, now that it is put forth.

The book before us was prepared by the Rev. Robert Emory, of the Baltimore Conference, eldest son of the late Bishop Emory. Our reading has convinced us, that, as a general thing, near relatives are unfit to write biographies. If they indulge their natural feelings, they must write under the influence of a partiality sufficiently strong to hoodwink an ordinary judgment. The child sees, or ought to see, only the bright side of the parent's character; but there may be a dark side, and the functions of biography are imperfectly performed if its views are one-sided. It is true that a very strong judgment may act against the tide of natural feeling, and enable the son to form tolerably correct opinions in regard to the character and conduct of a parent, but even then, there are difficulties, next to insurmountable, in the way of his writing a good biography. From the nature of the case he will be acutely sensitive to criticism both upon the subject and the manner in which it is treated. He must be aware that jealousy will dog his footsteps, that encomiums, however well deserved, will be esteemed exaggerations; and that wherever he blames, others, especially if their prejudices or their interests are at all involved, will believe that affection has lightened the dark hues of the picture, and that in every censure there is more than meets the eye. He will, therefore, be in danger of running into the extremes of avoiding merited censure and of withholding just praise. Under these circumstances, it is almost

impossible for him to write with freedom and power. He walks in fetters.

These objections all passed through the mind of the author before he commenced writing, and for a long time seemed conclusive. But at length the alternative was presented of sacrificing his own delicacy, or depriving the church of any memorial of one who so well deserved to be embalmed in her holiest recollections. Such a question could not long remain undecided. The sense of personal delicacy gave way before the call of duty, and the author at last undertook a task which, if possible, he would have gladly avoided. We have good reason to rejoice in this result. The issue of his labors is before us, in one of the most interesting biographies we have ever read. The following extract from the preface shows that he went to work with a full understanding of the difficulties arising from his peculiar position :

"To those who were intimately acquainted with the subject of this memoir, the author is apprehensive that he will appear sometimes to have sacrificed the reputation of the father to the delicacy of the son. If others shall rise from its perusal with the belief that it is an eulogy exaggerated by the partiality of the writer, let them consider that this itself would be no small tribute to Bishop Emory's character, if, in the contemplation of it, the fidelity of the biographer had yielded to the overpowering influence of filial affection. But it is believed that no such charge can justly be preferred. The author has certainly not sought to find faults in the subject of his memoir merely to show his own impartiality as a historian; but, at the same time, he has given as faithful a narrative as an intimate acquaintance with the deceased, access to all his papers, and communication with his friends, enabled him to prepare."

The author has succeeded, to a very remarkable extent, in presenting his subject fairly. And yet we think he has been somewhat cramped by his position, and that whatever deficiency of ease and freedom may be noticed in the book, can be traced to this cause. The plan, and indeed the entire execution of the biography, are highly creditable. The skill of a biographer is nowhere more clearly shown than in bringing strong points into relief, and making features of minor interest subordinate to them; and herein our author has been eminently successful. The division into chapters is very well conceived, and the lucid arrangement of details fills up the comprehensive outline admirably. For his clear division, together with the running titles, and the copious index at the end of the volume, which not only facilitate the reading of the book, but afford every convenience for reference, the author deserves our thanks; and we wish most heartily that other book-writers would

imitate him in this respect. To be sure these things cannot be done without labor, but the man who is unwilling to labor for perfection, ought not to write at all. Professional readers as we are, we need all these helps, in this day when "of the making of books there is no end," and we are tired and vexed almost every day for the want of them. In the book before us all these things are as they should be. Every chapter contains a well-marked period in the bishop's life, or discusses some separate point of interest. The style is perspicuous and unaffected; the author uses good nervous English, plain and forcible. He does not deal in periphrasis or ambiguity-always direct, he is always understood; indeed, it is clear that he understands himself, and means to be intelligible to his readers, not to mystify them. The principal defect of his style is its want of ease and grace; and though we may give it the praise of neatness, we cannot call it elegant. Still, it possesses the more substantial elements of purity and precision-no small recommendation in these days of Carlyleism and Dialism, when all sorts of tricks are played with mother tongue, and he is the finest writer who can bring into the language the strangest twists and most fantastic inversions. After these remarks upon the execution of the work, we proceed now to notice the questions proposed in the beginning, and shall make use of our author as we proceed.

John Emory was born April 11th, 1789. After an excellent academical education, he was occupied from his sixteenth year to his nineteenth in the study of law, during which period he was converted, and became a local preacher. Notwithstanding the strenuous opposition of his father, he entered the itinerant ministry of the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1810, and continued in the discharge of its regular duties until 1823, having also been a member of the General Conferences of 1816 and 1820, by the last of which he was sent to England on a delicate and important mission. In 1824 he was called to the Methodist Book Concern, where he spent eight laborious years. In 1832 he was elected a bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the duties of which high office he filled until the twentieth of December, 1835, when his career was closed by an accidental death. Such was the life of John Emory-at least the shell of it-and that is enough to show that he was no ordinary man. But what we want is something more than this; not merely to get hold of the string on which the pearls of his life were strung, but to seize upon the gems themselves; not merely to know by what names he was called, and by what honors distinguished among men-as bishop and the like— but what were the characters of his moral and spiritual life; what

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